by Ken Root
We finally have a nominee for U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.
He is Former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue, age 70, Farm groups including the American Farm Bureau Federation are strongly endorsing Perdue to head USDA.
Sonny Purdue became a veterinarian in the 1960’s and then started Agricultural Supply and Service businesses in Georgia.
He was named to the Trump Cabinet yesterday as the last member to be appointed.
AFBF National Vice President, Scott VanderWal, from South Dakota, says Perdue has a strong background and commitment to the business of agriculture.
He was a founding partner for a grain merchandising company with elevators in Georgia and South Carolina, And VanderWal says he understands issues such as immigration reform and trade.
In 2011, Perdue formed a trading company focusing on exports, so VanderWal says he also knows how important trade and trade agreements are to agriculture. That leaves them hopeful that as Ag Secretary he will help avoid trade wars with export partners like Canada, Mexico and China,
VanderWal says the Ag Secretary nominee also realizes the impact regulations have on a farmer’s bottom line and will be a leader in reform.
VanderWal says they expect easy and swift confirmation of Perdue by the Senate.
On a personal note, you might expect that a 44 year broadcaster might have crossed paths with Sonny Perdue in years past. I did, but in a different venue.
In 1989, I was in Washington D.C. as the executive director of a new agrichemical dealer association. One of my board members was from Georgia. He was a quiet and respectful fertilizer dealer who asked me to call his boss to get his blessing to run for national office.
His boss was Sonny Perdue. It was a delightful conversation as he endorsed the fertilizer manager and promised support if he were elected.
In the years that followed, I watched Dr. Perdue run for state representative, then senator and finally switch parties and become the first republican governor of Georgia since the 1860’s.